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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Baby Boy or Girl Moore

April writes:
After struggling to conceive, my husband and I have been blessed with a pregnancy. We are due October 1st. DH doesn't want to know the sex of the baby, and I don't have strong feelings about needing to know, so we're preparing two sets of names. The names need to fit in with several family traditions. We've decided to use his last name (Moore), but my family of origin traditions for first and middle names.


1. In my family, the middle name Oliver is a tradition for the first born male in a generation (it's my brother's middle name, my grandfather's middle name, my great-grandfather's middle name etc.). Since I am the first sibling to have a child in my family, I'd like to use Oliver in the middle for a boy.

2. The second tradition in my immediate family is to have the initials spell out an additional name. For instance, my initials spell AMY. I loved growing up with a "secret" extra name and want my child to have the same gift. Also, I think my parents would be thrilled if I carried on the pattern they started with my siblings and me.

My husband and I have had no trouble coming up with girl names to fit this pattern. Currently, our favorites are Genevieve Elise (GEM) and Penelope Alice (PAM). We wouldn't turn down more suggestions at this point, since we have a ways to go yet, but we need much more help with a boy's name. Other first names for girls that we like but that don't fit the initials pattern include Celeste, Lydia, and Cecilia.

The boy's name is giving us more trouble since there are two traditions restricting our choices. Basically, with Oliver in the middle, the most reasonable option is to find a first name starting with T to get to TOM. If we don't use Oliver, we are considering Simon Arthur (SAM), although I'd probably rather break with the initials tradition than the Oliver tradition, so maybe we'll just reserve that for a second boy, if we are blessed enough to have one.

Here are a list of boy T names we have come up with and all of the crazy reasons we have for not liking any of them:

Theodore - We love this name. Sadly it rhymes with Moore.

Toby - Reminds us both of a dim-witted character on a television show that we both watch.

Truman - Husband says he won't name child after president who bombed Hiroshima.

Terrance - The nickname Terry drives me nuts. I suggested Ren to the husband as an alternate nickname idea, and he hates the idea.

Timothy - Makes me think of Tiny Tim or Timothy Titmouse -- which both seem annoying to me.

Titus - Husband says it has the word ass in it, so it's out.

Troy - We both like this name. However, we're living in upstate NY right now and to our neighbors this is a city that they don't like.

Thomas - Way to common with the last name Moore. Also the same name as that of famous people from the past. My father-in-law has a super common first name and when combined with his last name, it's a huge hassle with identification (incorrect bills, court orders etc).

Tristan - Love the meaning behind the name, but for some reason it sounds a bit prissy or nerdy to us and our child is likely to be a nerd, so we don't want to make it to hard for him.

Travis - Nothing actually wrong with the name itself, but it's the name of a professor I had in college that I disliked.

Trevor - I like it, but Trevor Oliver sounds awkward to me with the double r ending.

Thaddeus - It's okay, but for some reason it just always sounds like it being said wrong to me. Also, Thad Moore sounds similar to the name of a summer camp that I used to go to and that's just strange to me.

Trent - Reminds me of the politician Trent Lott, which is not positive for us. Also, the Council of Trent, which just seems odd.

I keep feeling like the perfect T name is out there, but since I'm already a name nerd, I'm starting to lose hope in the idea that there is a T name I haven't thought of yet. Perhaps I already know the perfect T name, but I just need someone to help me see it in a different light? Swistle, you always give great advice -- want to give it a shot?

Another possibility is to go for the initials DOM. Or, if it's okay to use more than one middle name, you could do COLM or NORM. But I agree with you about going for TOM if possible: it practically cries out to be used here.

When I was expecting Henry, Matt Lauer and his wife had a baby boy and named him Thijs, pronounced Tice. I have Dutch ancestry and so does Paul, and I also immediately loved the sound of the name, so I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to use that name in the United States. My conclusion was that I didn't think the spelling was possible to use here without a lot more hassle than I was willing to take on, and I didn't want to Americanize the spelling.

It seems like a good possibility here: it's like Titus without the...tu. Tyce Oliver Moore. Both Ty and Tyson are familiar enough to pull Tyce with them. The flow isn't perfect, but with two traditions to satisfy, something else may have to give.

For that reason I also think Trevor could be reconsidered. Trevor Oliver does have a little repeated-endings issue, but will you be saying the names together often? Or, wait. Actually, "Trever Moore" makes me think of what the raven kept quothing.

Thatcher would be cute, though. Thatcher Oliver Moore.

Or would Trevin work? Trevin Oliver Moore.

I also want to revisit Theodore, since you both love it. I've been saying Moore more like "boor" or "moor" than like "-dore" or "more," but the rhyming issue leads me to believe I may saying it wrong. (After all, I rhyme the words "door" and "poor" with "more," so Moore could be the same.) Plus, if you'd mentioned Theodore without mentioning the issue with the endings, I would have pointed it out even pronouncing it like moor. And after saying Theodore, I'm more likely to pronounce Moore to rhyme with it. So it IS an issue, but maybe it's not a deal-breaker. Or you could go with the stand-alone name Theo, but I think that might lead people to put it with Moore as if it were Theodore: "Theomoore." Well, maybe it IS out, but I'm reluctant to let it go.

Would the name Tobin still make you think of the dim character Toby? Tobin Oliver Moore.

Your husband's objection to Truman sounds like it isn't up for discussion, but I feel like discussing it anyway. Using a name doesn't mean it has to be "after" everyone else who had the name---and certainly not after a PARTICULAR previous owner of the name. President Truman is perhaps most people's primary association with the name, but if people said "Oh, after President Truman?," there is room for saying "No." Well, fine, I see the reasoning and I guess it's off the list. It's just such a great T-name, and it's great with your surname, and I think of it as a surname name rather than a tribute name---but I understand how it is when an association takes over a name. In fact, I think part of my woe here is that I didn't previous associate Truman with Hiroshima, and now I do.

If the main problem with Thomas is that it's too common, you could use Thomason or Thompson. Thomason Oliver Moore; Thompson Oliver Moore. I think I prefer Thompson. But in talking about it with my mother, she brought up the point that having a name with the nickname Tom might take away the entire point of having a secret initials name.

Thaddeus/Thad makes me think of Todd. Todd Oliver Moore. Does that sound just as much like the camp name?

Teagan is used more often for girls than boys, which is too bad because it might fit the bill perfectly. Teagan Oliver Moore.

The Baby Name Wizard also lists Teague for boys, and that's not being used for girls at all. Teague Oliver Moore.

Oh, or Tiernan! Tiernan Oliver Moore.

It's rare in the United States, but Timon is one of my favorites of the T names so far. It sounds like Simon, without any Simple/Says issues. I'd expected it to get more common when everyone was searching for ways to get to the nickname Ty, but it didn't. Timon Oliver Moore. [Never mind: I see from the comments section that I was wrong about the pronunciation.] [Second edit: Well, or maybe I'm not wrong. HowJSay says it to rhyme with Simon. Pronounce Names shows several pronunciations, starting with the one that rhymes with Simon. Timon's Thoughts says one pronunciation is to rhyme with Simon. The Bible Workshop says it rhymes with Simon. The Shakespeare Glossary says it rhymes with Simon. Babynamespedia has it rhyming with Simon. The Baby Name Wizard says it rhymes with Simon. So I'm putting it back on my list.]

Name update! April writes:
I am proud to announce the birth of Alice Younglove Moore.

My baby girl was born on September 21st, so we did not have to worry about boy names in the end. However, after discussing your decide first names first policy we decided not to do initials spelling a second name for our daughter either. Instead, we opted to make a family connection to my side with her middle name as my maiden name. Also, her initials AYM are an anagram of my initials AMY.

Thank you for your advice! We'll keep it in our back pocket if we ever decide to have another. :)

I'm attaching a picture of our perfect little one to this email.


Bitts said...

My son's name is Travis. I have loved the name since I was 8 years old, so it's highly recommended! Other cool T names we considered were Torrin, Tavian, Thalon, Telford, Tremaine, Trevane, Tibor, Thane, and Torsten (Tor).

I also LOVE Thomas. BECAUSE of the train, if you can believe it! And a beloved great-uncle, too. Good luck! Can't wait to hear the update!!

Gail said...

Of Swistle's suggestions, I really like both Thatcher and Thompson......Timon is used a lot in Switzerland, but always pronounced Tee Mone'. Or, increasingly, they are simply using Timo, again pronounced with a Tee. My daughter who lives there knows two babies named Timo. But not sure it works that well with Moore.

Other ideas:

Tennyson (but does have the nerd issue)
Tarn (rarely used but means "mountain lake")

I think you may have inherited one of the more limiting of naming traditions....Best of luck, you have plenty of time to work with it.

Sarah said...

My maiden name is Tobin. My brother says he often has his surname mistaken for his first name and that he thinks it would make a good name.

christine said...

I really like some of the suggestions, in particular Thompson and Tiernan!

You might also like: Tate; maybe just using Theo (Theo Oliver Moore); Thurman; Townsend; Taylor (but then you run the risk of having your son sound like a law firm); Truitt; Tyler; and Tynan

Good luck!

Rosie said...

Tiberius?! I sort of love it esp with the nickname Tib. I went to school with a Tibor (pron. tee-bore) which I think is of Polish origin. I also recently met a little boy called Tiger. A brave choice but I like it. His nickname is just T.

Anonymous said...

I love Tristan and Tobias from the suggestions. Here are some other options:
- Torin Moore.
- Ted Moore.
- Truitt Moore. It gets you the Tru like in Truman without the nuke issue.

Considering "D" names or a double-middle name may make this easier. Some possible four letter initials that could work:
-Noam (ie. Nathaniel Oliver Adam Moore)

StephLove said...

My daughter went to preschool with a boy named Tabeh. I'd never heard that one before. Or how about Tobias instead of Toby? Or Tyler (oh wait, maybe not with Moore). Taylor would work if you don't mind unisex names. I also want to urge you to reconsider Timothy. A lot of kids go by full names these days so Timmy is not inevitable. And Tor is a cool option.

BTW, I love your girl choices. I'd have a hard time picking between them, but I lean to Penelope.

Alexa said...

If you both love Theodore, I don't see why you couldn't use just Theo as a standalone name--it doesn't sound nickname-y to me in the way Teddy or even Ted does. It has a "complete name" SOUND, and I can picture it on both a little boy and as the name of a grown-up distinguished man person, if that helps.

Jessica said...

I personally would have a hard time remembering if someone wanted to pronounce Timon as ‘Simon with a T’ as Timon makes me think of the merecat (right?) from the Lion King. Timon and Pumba, you know? It’s not a negative association, just a strong one that would make me default to that pronunciation (Tih-mone).

I don’t associate the name Truman with Hiroshima at all. I just think of it as presidential and surname-y – like Washington.

One of my favorite things is when the initials spell a nickname of the actual name – my Aunt Nancy’s initials were NAN (before marriage) and my Aunt Valerie’s were VAL (they’re from different sides of the family, in case you’re wondering why they don’t have the same last initial). That’s why I’d definitely go with Thomas, Thomason, or Thompson. Of course, then you don’t have a secret additional name, so that might not be what you want.

Anonymous said...

What about Tavish? Tavish Oliver Moore sounds great to me. It's a variant of Thomas.

Anonymous said...

Some more T options:
Tavis (same root as Tavish, posted above

I also really love Tristan -- it's a lot more common, and thus probably less geeky, than it used to be. Tristan Oliver Moore just sounds amazing.

Alice said...

my mom's initials spell her name, which i thought was SO COOL as a kid (and was super jealous that mine didn't). what a fun tradition!

monicabenson said...

I scrolled through my client database, which is conveniently and inexplicably organized by first name, and came up with:


I kind of like Talmadge - unusual, but still somehow presidential. Tally is a cute nickname, even if just for family use.

Emmuh said...

Congrats on your pregnancy! Picking baby names is one of the most fun things to do (and also one of the most emotional-cause the other person must agree)!

I was going to suggest Talmedge. I had an uncle named Talmedge, and its very old-school. But when he was older, he was simply called Uncle T.

What about Tatum? It's my maiden name, and can be gender-neutral these days, but Tate or Tatum are both nice. Tate Oliver Moore?

In looking at T names online, what about Tremaine,Truitt, Topher, or Tyler?

I think I like Tate or Ty best. good luck!

Emily said...

My suggestions - may double up with some of the other comments.

Tadhg – Pronounced like the first syllable in tiger

Tadhg Oliver Moore is probably my favourite.

best of luck :)

Anonymous said...

I really like DOM for a secret name. Couldn't ROM also work? I also think Theo is great as a complete name. Theo Oliver works as the O sounds are different.

phancymama said...

I know someone named Thelonius, and I love love love it. Nickname T.

Karen L said...

I think you have lots of great suggestions from your own list, Swistle, and commentariate.

My favourites are

In fact, using the "would I want it for my own name" test, if I were a man, I might wish my name were Tristan Oliver Moore or Tate Oliver Moore.

I think you'd get over the TV character association quite quickly if you went with Toby, which is aDORable.

Sara said...

I'm going to second Tucker...
Tucker Oliver Moore

and if the double er is too much for ya

Tuck Oliver Moore

Love the sound of that...sounds like a modern day Hank to me. Love love love

Anonymous said...

I love Teague. How about Talon or Tanner?

Laura said...

I'm totally biased because I have a Tate but I love his name. Simple and straightforward but not as common as some of the other one-syllable names. Tate Oliver it!! Congratulations to you.

HereWeGoAJen said...

I have a friend married to a Timon and his is pronounced Tim-un, to rhyme with Tim. I've always thought of it as an alternate pronunciation though, which is odd now that I think of it because he is the only Timon I know.

Nicole Trager said...

I love Thatcher, Todd and Tobin on Swistles list.

Other names for you
If you like Tristan how about Tatum
If you like Truman how about Thornton, it could also have some cool nn options like Thorn or Thor

If you like Trevor how about Tucker
Titus has a Shakespeare connection, what about Tybalt .

I love Thatcher Oliver Moore and Thornton Oliver Moore. I dont thing the er rhyming is an issue for first and middle names

mary said...

Thayer! Thayer Oliver Moore. Classic yet uncommon.

Tayo as another version of Theo? oOr Tarquin, nn Quinn?

Erin said...

I really like the name Tomlin (tom-lynn) for a boy. It is similar to Thomas, but more unique. I've never actually met a Tomlin. Plus, it'd be kind of neat to have Tomlin Oliver Moore, with a nickname of Tom or Tommy if you wanted, and the initials to be TOM. And Tomlin Oliver Moore has a nice ring to it.

The Mrs. said...

A caution about Tyler... with the last name of Moore, it may bring to mind Mary Tyler Moore.

And I'm sure Swistle posted a poll in the last year or so about the name Tucker falling from grace. Just something to consider.

Now that I've shot down two suggestions, I best be making some!

Tabor (I know one personally; he likes his name a lot!)

Tarquin (if you have ever read Gone Away Lake, this might be extra appealing; his nickname was Tark in the book)

Tanner (sounds distinguished with Moore)

Taggart (very cool, comes with the nickname of Tag)

Theophilus (if you want Theo AND something biblical besides Theodore)

Templeton (it may be too much for you with your surname)

Thurston (google says it's a county in Washington state)

Tilden (distinctive and classic with your surname)

Todd (underused but easily recognizable)

Townsend (reaching way back to colonial times, but wonderful with Moore!)

Love your family tradition of the secret name! Best wishes to you and your growing family!

Anonymous said...

I love Trace Oliver Moore and Tate Oliver Moore. Or what about Talon? I've always thought it was a cool name since hearing it on Laguna Beach back in the day. Also, Thurston Oliver has been my husbands favorite baby name since he was a kid, and I have to agree its pretty awesome! Good luck and congrats!!

Janelle said...

Oh, Theodore is too wonderful, especially with the sibling names you've mentioned. With nn Theo, I think you'd be just fine, and honestly, since the stress is on the first syllable, I don't really think the rhyme would be a huge problem.

But if Theodore is out, please please use Tobias! I know two Tobiases in their 20s/30s. One goes by Toby and the other uses his full name. Such a great underused name!

Lisa said...

I think Talbot/Talbott would make a great first name. Talbot Oliver Moore sounds very distinguished. I've also always loved the name Tarquin (pronounced tar-kin), and I think it sounds great with Moore as well.

sarah said...

I know a Theo who is just Theo, not Theodore.
Other unusual T names I know, some of which have been mentioned already:
I also like Tate, Tobias, and Tristan. I don't think of Tristan as a nerdy name at all.
Good luck!

Annie said...

I'll throw out Taggert/Taggart. I worked with a guy with this name. When I first saw it on the new hire list I raised an eyebrow in it seems like a very cool but "normal" name to me. Also:



Anonymous said...

I'll offer up Taj (like the Taj Mahal) and Tosh even though it's probably not your style.

Trying for something a bit more classic, I'll add Tabor to the list.

On your list though, I love Theodore, even if it rhymes. I have a cousin Theo, but it's pronounced Tay-o (the German way). I like either pronounciation, but if you used the German version as a nickname, it wouldn't still sound like Theomoore/Theodoremoore that Swistle was mentioning.

Good luck!

Joanne said...

I really, really like Tate. Tate Oliver? Loves it. Fwiw, I think of Timon as sounding like Timon of Athens, like Tim uhn.

Anonymous said...

I think D names work too. Dom is a common nickname for Dominic.

Sarah A said...

I second the suggestions of Torin, Thorsten, and Thane - all great choices that sound excellent with Oliver Moore.

Tiberius is the best if you're brave enough!

If there is any possibility of moving in the future, I would put Troy back on your list - it's a great name.

How strong is the Travis association with the bad professor? I absolutely love the name Travis and I think it could be great for you.

I agree with Swistle that Truman can move beyond the presidential association. Just make your hubby watch the Jim Carrey movie to get a new feel for the name :) Truman is wonderful and he definitely won't be sharing his name with any classmates.

I would caution against Tristan if you want to stay away from popular names - I think it's on the rise.

My own initials spell SEA and I love it and hope we can work it in the future so our own kids can have initials that spell out a name or a word. Great that you're carrying on this tradition, and congrats on your pregnancy!

Tracy said...

We know a boy with the name of Tevis. The 'e' is a short e prounced like egg. He usually goes by Tev.

Robyn said...

I love Tynan or Tate...Congratulations on your preganancy! :)

Megz said...

Isn't Theobald a proper name? That would give you Theo without the rhyming problem.

From literature/history you could have:


Unfortunately a lot of the good names suggested here sound too short/choppy with your surname or sound like Companies or Products.

Personally I would name your son Dominic Oliver Moore, initials and nickname DOM.

Congratulations and good luck.

Wendy said...

Oooh, I love the idea of Tevin!

What about Thor? I had a student named Thor, and I always thought it was kind of cool.

Anonymous said...

I love Tristan - use it! - and Timoty - another great name! - but if you don't love them enough:


Please don't use Tobin - Petrer Tobin is a serial killer and sex offender. Been in the news a lot recently in the UK.

Anonymous said...

As soon as i read this the only name i could think of was Tavish! Tavish Oliver Moore, Tavish Moore - sounds so handsome! With the initials spelling TOM and Tavish being a variant on Thomas, it's extra cute.

i had a friend growing up named Meghan and her initials spelled MEG - i always thought that was so wonderful.

Namelover said...

Hi, April here. Lots of good ideas. Thanks, everyone! I knew I could count on you.

I like Swistle's suggestions of Todd and Timon. I really like Todd. Does it sound too dated? If not, I really like it.

I like the reader suggestions of Tate, Tobias, and Tavish. I love Tavish.

I'm also leaning towards reconsidering Travis and Trevor. They might be back in the running.

I'll discuss with the husband and see if he likes any of these ideas.

Anonymous said...

As everyone has already said, great name suggestions! My favorites are Thurston, Talen, Tobias and Tristan!

Don't know if anyone has suggested Tameron Oliver Moore? What about Tayton Oliver Moore?

There are SO many great "T" names. Will be excited for a baby name update come October!

Meggan said...

In the spirit of Truman, I am going to suggest Truett. I know someone with a baby Truett and it works SO well. Truett Oliver Moore. You could call him Tru/True for short, if you wanted.

Anonymous said...

The "thee" sound at the end of Timothy could get the nickname Theo like Theodore with no rhyme but the T initial. :)

Erin said...

I think Theodore has enough syllables in it to not be too rhymey. I actually had to say it out loud to myself multiple times to even start to hear the rhyme, and tehre are enough nicknames for it (Theo, Ted, Teddy) that if you love the name but don't want it to be at all rhymey, you could use a nickname version.

And if you like Timothy but want a better connectiont hat Tiny Tim, I highly recommend watching "Friday Night Lights" and paying special attention to Tim Riggins (as though you could NOT pay him special attention, the man is beautiful). (Incidentally, the actor's name is Taylor, but Taylor Oliver is far more rhymey than Theodore Moore.)

Anonymous said...

I love the name Torben, very manly (Thor's bear). Good luck!

Beckye said...

It's really too bad your husband has the bad association with Harry Truman. Because what more could a parent want than a true man for a son.(Also he did do the Marshall Plan, so he wasn't all bad ;) )

Just to mention Thomas Moore is a famous philosopher.

But maybe Taylor or Tyler would work.

Anonymous said...

What about Thoran, Tynan, or Treanor? Nice Irish Gaelic names :)

Thoran Oliver sounds fantastic.

Anonymous said...

Tyson Oliver Moore??

Anonymous said...

Simply because no one's mentioned it, how about Trenton? It has a similar sound to Trevor.

vanessa said...

TEDMUND TEDMUND TEDMUND. Tedmund Oliver Moore; Teddy Moore. and then have a girl named Penelope. Teddy and Poppy Moore! OMG SWOON.

Anonymous said...

You could still use Celeste or Cecilia with and "A" middle name. The secret name of CAM would be cute. Just a thought!

NameLover said...

Now you all are making me rethink Theodore . . . hmmm. My husband likes Todd, but not Tavish. Glad I have time to figure this out. I'll be sure to let you know how it turns out.

Patricia said...

Congratulations on the birth of your lovely daughter Alice! You chose her name very well.